#3 MAXIMUM HEART RATE
Roryd sez: With only so many hours in the day I want to be somewhat efficient in my training and avoid excess fatigue. Keeping my eye on the data allows me to do this.
My goal is to exercise hard enough and long enough to get faster, stronger, leaner, to preserve; not so hard that I cause injury, fatigue or illness. To accomplish this end I approximated the recommendations in John Parker’s book Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot. I use a Polar A5 heart rate monitor (but don’t really believe the model matters) and have determined my maximum heart rate (MHR) to be 182. I made this determination over a number of days by thoroughly warming up and then thrashing up a series of moderate hills until it seemed to me that I couldn’t reasonably squeeze out another beat per minute (perhaps if I had had a gun to my head). For me to establish my MHR in this manner was important because the common formula 220 – My Age returned a value of 158, a significant discrepancy.
Then, using Parker’s protocol again, I determined my resting rate to be 49.
With this data at hand I am able to quantify my running:
- Fitness training (slow / easy) = 60 to 70% MHR (my Maximum Heart Rate 182) = 109 – 127 beats per minute (bpm).
- Endurance training (moderate / long) = 70 to 85% MHR = 127 – 155 (bpm).
- Speed training (hard) = 155 – 90% MHR = 159 – 164 (bpm).
- Sprint training (maximal) = 90% (plus) MHR = 164 (plus). Interestingly, I found that various activities deliver various maximum heart rates. For instance, while cycling my MHR is about 164; swimming about 171 (bpm). I guess that this variance is because swimming and cycling aren't weight-bearing.
SUMMARY: Armed with data I can quantify my efforts, insuring I am training hard on some days, recovering well on others, optimizing the time I am investing.